You can barely walk a few paces in the market town of Bedale without a historic building or landmark catching your eye, and the Bedale Heritage Trail takes its visitors on an easy-to-follow- route that takes in each one. It isn’t only the buildings along the way that make this walk a fascinating one, it’s also the tales you’ll hear about some of the characters who have called Bedale home over the centuries.
Thanks to its position at the point where the roads from Wensleydale, Ripon and Northallerton meet, Bedale had a thriving industry before the Industrial Revolution took place, and many of the buildings along the Heritage Trail date back to its 1700s heyday. Highlights of the trail include St Gregory’s Church which dates back to Saxon times, the Market Cross which is the original market charter from the 14th century and the Town Hall which was constructed in 1840.
The area that surrounds the weir is affectionately known as the harbour throughout the town, but it’s actually a canal basin. Lastly, look out for the Leech House. Yes you guessed it, this Grade II listed building was once used to store the leeches used to extract blood from the sick. Happily, these days the building stands empty and the nearby gardens make a great spot for a pause and a picnic.